John and I decided to do a presentation on major or minor causes of homelessness. John discussed the portion speaking on problems from the 1950’s through 1990’s. Some topics he spoke on were crack epidemic, mental institutions closing, jobs and marriage, and destruction of skid row. Each of these events greatly effected homelessness and still does till this day, even though some of these reasons happened years ago. John gave amazing detail on these topics and their direct effect to homelessness. I spoke on issues from 1990’s until now. I talked about income inequality, lack of affordable housing, recessions, and laws. Laws played a huge role in continuing this form of oppression, but it was now backed up by the system in ways different from before. Allowing people to use restrooms in restaurants and allowing them to sleep in public places without being harassed constantly by cops. Gullain’s law is a good example of how the government chose to handle the homeless population. Police began to become strict on minor laws and enforcing them more. Laws against loitering, public indecency, and sleeping in public spaces. More tickets began to be given for these starting a cycle of crime for these individuals. Tickets would be given and they wouldn’t come to court, so then another ticket would be given, but since they didn’t have an address for it to be sent to they never got the chance to get it. Causing a bench warrant, these people being picked up and taken to jail for days or months. I believe running them through the system this way may be less efficient and more money than housing them.
The goal of the presentation was to address homelessness since this topic isn’t talked about much and the truth behind this issue isn’t told correctly. We had 10 open minded people come in and hear about the issue wit open hearts. That allows them to take the knowledge they have gained and tell others about it. Learning the causes helps bring up how to fix the issues and put action. I would love to change people’s actions and behaviors towards the homeless, so they can help contribute to solutions of this problem.
Doing the powerpoint and discussion together worked very well, giving everyone something to go off of. Allowing the space to be open to questions and it helped spark a conversation rather quickly. Many questions were asking not just about the causes but also other topics, like solutions, who is the population of homeless, inequality, and equity. We spoke about the population of homeless in Redlands, particularly race.
I don’t feel like there was any real failures, it went so well. But I do wish I spoken more on solutions so people can find ways to help and make change. We spoke a little on the topic but only on tent camps and how much these would benefit the economy since, they could start gardens and businesses from within to support themselves.
Some solutions for homeless have been spoken about in class, discussing the housing first and tent camps. Just giving a solution to finding a home not the other problems. The government will need to change from the inside as well. The problems of income inequality makes its hard to get and keep a house in this market. If the wealth was distributed more evenly to the lower, and middle class it could make a huge difference, instead of having all the money go to the top 10%, even taking just a little percentage from them can help as well.
Some temporary solutions are programs that just give away food. They help is much appreciated but doesn’t really help the problem of homelessness. It is piece to a bigger puzzle. Another being emergency shelter living, usually used for very cold or hot weather. These shelters should be offered year around. Just temporary giving them a place then taking it must really suck for the individuals, but is very much appreciated.
Our communities should be able to intermingle more, instead of just ignoring a human being, I wish people were more willing to give their time to talk to others. Some look on this population with assumptions,but never seem to see if they assumptions are true.
We watched a very interesting video on children in homelessness near Disneyland. Hearing them speak about their situations was interesting, I didn’t think they would completely comprehend what was happening to them. I wasn’t thinking about them in the same situation, only thinking it affected the parents. I remember one of the younger girls speaking on her paranoia and she was scared that she would picked up by someone but she had never been taken. That made me realize and think more about psychological problems faced I am in a child psychology class and my professor was telling the class that when children are diagnosed younger, it tends to be more serve and reoccur at some point in their life. The likelihood is higher for these children because of the environment they are in and if their parents are dealing with mental illness as well. I was inspired by the people who created and working at the school for these children.
The idea of camps is very interesting and quite helpful giving them a community, but a few concerns came about. Even though this idea is great and has so much potential, its disconnecting them from the rest of community but also giving them a space they feel comfortable in. I think idea of the camps is low cost and more eco friendly. I am surprised there isn’t more of these and promoted more. I feel like it should be one of the ideas for Redlands since cost is a problem to the counsel here.
This week I heard a presentation on the history of the homeless by individuals in the class and Jim. The most shocking thing I heard was how many times the economy clasped I’ve the past 50 years, being over 3 times. Our economy is meant to not function, and eventually crash. I just don’t understand why the government keeps trying to use this method knowing the consequences.
Social protest became huge in the trying to get policies for the homeless. It was as if these people were stripped of rights. Having more than people on their side showed how important this issues was to the broader community. Having people of all economic backgrounds involved. But because of these people much change was brought about, allowing more money to be spent on a wider variety of things. Also opening up the help of more government assistance in general. Money was spent on more emergency shelters, drop in centers, long term housing, and medical care.
Many shelters had and still have very strict rules and regulations for people who need it. I’ve been wondering if giving them more freedom would help them grow and change? Many say giving them too much freedom would cause them to become heavily dependent on outside resources instead of creating their own. Others say strict rules may keep them away from the help, and if we want people off the street they need to receive some type of help. I understand some of the rules like no hard drugs, but others like be at the location at 6 is too much. We forget these people are grown and can move about how they want, but in order to get help you must obey. It is like they are treated like children.
Homelessness is a now very systematic problems that is much harder to fix than most would think. I’ve heard many people say very negative things about homeless. The most frequent ones I hear are, they should just get a job it they act like its hard, If i just give them money they will buy drugs and they shouldn’t have some things like a cell phones or computers .Most having the mentality that if one is homeless they did something to deserve. And it’s sad to think society will not help people and their is so much that can be changed. But political, economical, and societal changes need to be done. After professor Spick was speaking on the connections that need to be made to help more problems be solved, Such as making the organizations communicate with one another and plan out things more with the ones surrounding them. Then he started to explain how each organization is in competition with one another, I started to assume for money. One example that came up was Redlands Family Service Association. In comparison to other services such as the church, which was closed down. They are an older organization being around for over 120 years, and having the most funds out of all of them. The reason being they don’t offer long term help, like housing or much job help. They only offer food and clothing, which is very helpful but in no world enough to end the problem they so badly want gone.
As I’ve been doing more research and learning more, I realized homelessness dates back very far. Further than these books speak on. I believe the reason it become so known around the 1960’s is because that’s when people began to see how abnormal this actually was. But in previous times they were trying to annihilate a population of people or prevent them from producing more. Majority of population agreed with this concept so much wasn’t done to help them. As time went on people began to see this population of people was not going away, no longer being able to make these people just disappear like before by putting them in asylums or keep them hidden. People began to advocate for these people and come up with plans to help them back on their feet. One plan being providing houses and treatment for the unhoused. Believing that most people who were homeless had some sort of mental or physical disorder. Another is having things necessary for them if housing isn’t available like plays to shower or housing when the weather is too hot or too cold. This was a hard project to start, since they wanted things done on a big scale more money was needed to help fund projects like this. So protesting became very big to help get attention of higher authority, once having them on your side this plan could really take off, But even till this day we have problems with getting them on board. From what I have heard from this class and people who come and speak to us its for economical purposes. Which saddens me that our lives mean less than the money we create.
This week we had speakers come in, Craig Turley and 4 officers with H.O.P.E. Craig brought up some very interesting points. He brought in many numbers and statics, which was nice to hear making me truly visualize. Many cities are very against homelessness trying to blow this community into the next city. I remember him saying at one point San Bernardino and Redlands were transporting people back and forth because neither cities wanted to deal with the issue. After hearing him speak, it made me realize many want them gone, but don’t want to find solutions to this problem. Over 80,000 people applied for housing and it takes some up to 4 years to actually get approved. What happens during the time they are waiting? Some places, for sometime and even now ,make it illegal to sleep in cars and public areas. Some of these people have no one to run to, what happens in these cases? People started to sue the cities that had these laws. Higher authority make it so difficult for these people who already have to worry about eating, making money, LIFE. Why add to their struggle. With all of the resources we have in California, more should be helped. Craig also said that funds are set aside to help the unhoused community but isn’t really used in Redlands. Millions we have sitting to give away and nothing is done.
My group and I presented a book called Sidewalk by Mitchell Dunnier. I wanted to talk more about the race issue. Dunnier discusses how people on the streets were constantly in and out of jail but for reasons that were ridiculous. Drugs and homelessness were used as a continuously way to put them in jail. Jim crow laws had ended in 1965, creating more discreet laws. Majority of the people homeless were people of color, but black being the most. Trying to make the minorities go away they began to send them to jail to get them off the streets. At times police would help but they are getting paid to do a job, so there is more instances when they are taking that authoritative role instead. Something major that was paid attention to was what they were selling. Only allowing them to sell books, newspaper, and things of that sort. Robbery also something that done, but mostly as a last opinion. People were making irrational decisions to get that fix, but to help cope with being in the position they were in. When put in jail they are never rehabilitated so most end up back on the street, once again doing what they did. Some learn there lessons others don’t and end up in that cycle.
Hearing the other books, one thing that was really interesting was the men that worked out together and made plans to help themselves against police. It was an interesting approach to take on how to combat with police attacks. Even making yourself look and becoming integrated with the rest of society made you a suspect.
A video was watched in class about homelessness and it really was hard to watch. A man is running for a seat in council in Santa Monica, thinking this will help the homeless and working poor to be heard. Multiple times during the movie the way most people speak on is so rude as if they don’t deserve their life. I remember one man saying since these people cannot feed themselves maybe they should starve. I wonder if people still have the same thoughts on homelessness in that region compared to now. A law was trying to place in Santa Monica to not allow people to feed them so they would move out of the region, since santa monica is more tourist area homeless didn’t help with business. Police were on the homeless like they had nothing better to do. Constantly giving them tickets knowing they couldn’t or wouldn’t pay and making them move from location to location with no warning. I remember watching when the police forced them to move promising they had shelters when in reality they didn’t and one of the women began crying and I couldn’t help but cry myself
Many assumptions are around the homeless the one that bugs me the most is saying they are criminals and should be looked at more for the crimes that are commited. After gaining some knowledge about this topic a majority of them are focused on getting themselves through the day. Only in the true rock bottom will they commit crimes such as robbery. Every incounter I have ever had with the homeless is never as horrid as it made to be, people look at them as another species sometimes forgetting they are one of us. It hurts my heart so much 🙁 THANKS FOR COMING TO MY TEDTALK